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September 25, 2013

‘Schock’ and awe: Ferndale High volleyball welcomes new coach

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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‘Schock’ and awe: Ferndale High volleyball welcomes new coach
Ferndale High coach Stacy Schock talks to her team during a break in practice Sept. 20.

FERNDALE — It’s a timed drill that the Ferndale High volleyball team has done since the beginning of the season.

The Eagles line up and have to execute 50 passes and then 50 sets, all while the stopwatch ticks away.

In the beginning of the year, Ferndale finished in more than 12 minutes. On Sept. 18 at practice, the Eagles cut the time in half, finishing in 6:12.

“That’s really good for us,” coach Stacy Schock said.

The first-year coach isn’t surprised, as she’s seen the steady improvement from her squad since the first day of practice.

“I really am excited about getting in some more matches and getting into our league play. We look pretty good,” she said. “We started kind of slow, but the last couple weeks, we’ve looked better and better. So they’re really working hard. That makes me happy.”

Schock comes to the program after coaching five total years of club volleyball.

She said offensively, she likes to run an aggressive scheme where every shot taken is heading toward the opponent’s side of the floor.

“I don’t want to be giving teams any free balls,” she said.

Defensively, she focuses on having the team always moving and being sound.

Senior captains Shelby Simpson and Sophie Michalak said the transition into her style of play and coaching has been smooth.­

“She’s always keeping us going,” Simpson said.

“I feel like she’s brought a really positive aspect to the team,” Michalak added. “It’s tough to be a new coach when we’ve had a coach for years previous. It can be tough to transition into that, but I think we’ve done it well. She’s super positive.”

Schock said a goal is to build the program from the ground up.

“I want to go down to the eighth-grade level and start building it up from there,” she said. “I think it’s really important that they see me and know me for next year. We’ll start there and have that consistency throughout.”

For the current squad, the Eagles have six girls back from last season and only two seniors. At press time, Ferndale was 0-3 overall and hadn’t played a match in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

“When they need to, the girls always step up and pull it together. We’ve had so many late comebacks when we started slow and fought our way back from some really deep holes,” Schock said. “I was impressed with that and their dedication. Sometimes, when you’re down, you feel defeated and start hanging your head. They’ve fought back, and that’s good.”

Catch the Eagles against Rochester High at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at home.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.